Karen Pinkos, the assistant city manager for El Cerrito, has been selected to receive a special scholarship for a summer training program at Harvard University for local and state government executives.
The Senior Executives in State and Local Government Program at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government is a "three-week, intensive program that provides a balance of traditional and hands-on learning experiences to help seasoned public officials from across the nation meet the changing needs of their constituents and communities," the city said in a news release.
Pinkos was selected from among 35 applicants for the The Ferguson Group scholarship by the International City/County Management Association (ICMA). She is the second winner of the honor, which was initiated last year.
The city release offered the following description of the program:
"The program enables participants to become more effective public managers by challenging assumptions about how to exercise leadership in the public sector, developing new conceptual frameworks for addressing policy issues, examining innovative partnerships and new models of collaborative governance, exploring the relationship between citizens and their government, understanding the behavioral dimensions of decision-making, and exchanging ideas with experienced faculty and a diverse group of colleagues."
Pinkos said in a statement that she is "extremely honored" to be given the "extraordinary professional and personal opportunity."
“I am thrilled to represent the City of El Cerrito and ICMA at this prestigious program," she said. "The Harvard Kennedy School Program will provide me with a unique learning experience to challenge my thinking, values, and skills, and I look forward to applying what I’ve learned to better serve the community of El Cerrito and the local government management profession.”
Pinkos has worked for the city since 2001. She is a past vice president of the ICMA Executive Board and is currently an at-large member of the Cal-ICMA Board, the state affiliate of ICMA. She is also a recipient of the Wes McClure Outstanding Assistant Award from the Municipal Management Association of Northern California.